Hello Devi and Jim,
It’s always interesting to me how many of us who were raised as Catholics search for this inner path. I think it is because, when devoutly taught, the Catholic religion sends us inside ourselves to ask so many questions. My departure from the church at the age of 18 was primarily because I saw so much hypocrisy among those who “went” to church but didn’t really seem to be attending. My path from that point until now, at the age of 65, has been very explorative, but I have always felt most drawn to the yogic traditions, as well as any form of meditation. I feel most comfortable when I can spend even a little time in yoga or meditation on a daily basis. Jim, I think that patience is the most important aspect. If you look inside, you will see that the tools you need are already there.
A path that is important to me right now is the path to renew joy in my life. Recently, I realized that through the act of living, my spirit has been buffeted around to the point where I was becoming overly reactive rather than responsive, and as result, anger was starting to replace joy. I took on the task of healing myself with some guidance from Rick Hanson, author of “Buddha’s Brain”, who has a wonderful website. His approach to renewing joy in our lives is a three-part one: first, recognize that you are having a good – i.e. joyful – experience, or think about a past joyful experience. Second, enrich that experience by pausing to take note and extending the moment as much as possible. Finally, absorb it into your mind and body, as though filling a vessel in your heart with golden light. I am also including thoughts of joy in my meditation practice, focusing on an image or thought that is joyful while I enter my meditation.
Thank you, Inner Path, for opening up this topic. I hope many more contribute.
Joy and peace to all.